- International Affairs
Published: | By: Axel Burchardt
Friedrich Schiller University Jena has once again earned top marks from its international students. According to the latest ‘International Student Barometer’, 90 percent of students were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with all aspects of their studies at Thuringia's state university. The results are based on a well-established survey by i‑graduate carried out in 2022. In this survey, international students at 146 higher education institutions in 17 different countries were asked how satisfied they are with the study experience and living conditions at their universities.
High ratings for reputation, teaching quality, and career prospects
The University of Jena’s academic reputation, quality of teaching, and career prospects as graduates of a research-oriented university were rated particularly high. The University’s services also received positive ratings across the board. These services include career counselling offered at Career Point, fast admission procedures, and assistance with helping students settle into university life among their peers. International students are also highly satisfied with their learning environment: Jena is perceived as a city that offers a high quality of life. Compared with the previous survey in 2018, ratings for features such as student accommodation, integration, and internet access have improved considerably. "Since then, the University and the Studierendenwerk have made considerable efforts to improve standards for international students—we can now see this reflected in the latest results," says Dr Claudia Hillinger, Head of the International Office at the University of Jena.
However, student feedback also included some critical comments that the University will use to identify areas for further action and improvement. While the University’s online workshops that have been designed to help students prepare for their studies in Jena were rated very positively, the arrival phase itself was considered challenging. Friedrich Schiller University has already removed one bureaucratic hurdle by streamlining the enrolment process for the 2023 summer semester. "Working alongside the subject departments, the University will continue to look for ways to provide even better support for new students during the initial phase of their studies and to raise greater awareness for the wide range of existing advisory and service provisions that are not yet sufficiently known," Hillinger stresses. This would need to involve even more subject-specific career guidance to meet student expectations. Students also indicated that they would like to see more digital learning and examination formats. Another area for improvement is the present lack of comfortable areas allowing students to socialize—construction of the University’s new Inselplatz campus as well as the redesign of the current campus will certainly help to address this point
A total of 533 international students at the University of Jena took part in the survey, representing 21 percent of the 2,571 total international students in the 2022/23 winter semester. The most responses came from students from India, followed by China, Russia, Italy, and Vietnam. This is the sixth time that Friedrich Schiller University participated in the survey conducted by the British agency ‘Tribal i-graduate’. In previous years, satisfaction rates were also consistently above 90 percent.